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India eyes rural tourism growth

Written by: Staff
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New Delhi, June 6 (UNI) India plans to promote rural tourism in a big way by creating ''vested interests'' among the local people in the economic development process as a whole.

Inauguraing a national workshop on tourism, Union Tourism and Culture Minister Ambika Soni said strategies for a sustainable development of rural areas could be successful only if a vested interests is created among the local people.

''Rural tourism is the concept which has a focus at the local level and has tremendous potential for building links with local communities and achieving a superior quality of life for India's rural population.'' The Minister said local communities living in the vicinity of tourism circuits could share the benefits from tourist expenditure by participating in the preservation of assets on which tourism was dependent.

Local communities could also contribute immensely in creating awareness about and the preservation of the historical or cultural significance of the archaeological, religious, wildlife, bio-diversity and ethnic wealth close to them.

She said top priority should be accorded to provide the tourists clean environment, a clean room, a clean toilet, clean food and of course, clean water.

In this context, Ms Soni said the Rural Tourism project, which has been launched in cooperation with the UNDP, seeks to provide these conditions in our rural areas and it was heartening to note that the project had also greatly helped in elevating the life style of the people living in the vicinity of the project areas.

She said over the years industrialisation and development had become increasingly urban-centric creating a lot of pressure on civic amenities in urban areas thus giving rise to urban slums, increasing crimes and ever growing unemployment.

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